Solidarity 396, 2 March 2016

Junior doctors ready for battle

Yannis Gourtsoyannis is a junior doctor in London who is a member of the BMA Junior Doctors' Committee and active in Momentum NHS and the People’s Assembly. He spoke to Solidarity on 23 February.

Industrial news in brief


Peggy Carter, Patrick Murphy, NUT executive, personal capacity, Charlotte Zalens and Ollie Moore

National Union of Teachers members in sixth form colleges will be striking on Tuesday 15 March after a ballot over funding which returned 86% in favour of strikes on a 44% turnout. NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “This strong ballot result shows the strength of feeling amongst sixth-form college teachers. Sixth-form colleges provide a vital service to over 150,000 young people, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Young Labour: gains for the left


Brendan Menezes and Tim Jones

After three hectic days in Scarborough (26-28 February), the dust is yet to settle from the events of the annual Labour Students and Young Labour conference.

Verses from the First World War: conscription


Janine Booth

One hundred years ago this week, conscription came into force in Britain. The Military Service Act placed men between 18 and 41 years of age into the army reserve unless they were married (this exemption was removed later in 1916), widowed with children, serving in the Royal Navy, a minister of religion, or working in a “reserved occupation”. The initial rush of volunteers had dried up by this time, and while poverty continued to make signing up as a soldier an attractive option for some men, recruits were being killed at a faster rate than they could be replaced.

Trapped: The village against nature


Les Hearn

Followers of Nordic noir will have been enjoying this new treat on BBC4. It has the typical features of the flawed policeman confronted with gruesome murders; but a dominant character in the drama, sometimes it seems the dominant character, is nature.

Many interruptions, one struggle

Jill Mountford, a member of the Momentum Steering Committee, spoke to Solidarity about fighting her expulsion from the Labour Party. This version is a bit longer than in the printed paper.

Migrants flee bulldozers and tear gas at Calais “Jungle”


Phil Grimm

French authorities have set about dismantling a large section of the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais.

Demolition teams, protected by French riot police to disperse protesters, have been forcefully destroying hundreds of temporary shelters. Migrants and solidarity activists protested in the lead-up to the bulldozers moving in, and after, and were met with repression from riot police who fired tear gas and used a water cannon.

6500 people waiting at the border

Nikos Anastasiadis of DEA, the Workers’ International Left in Greece, spoke to Solidarity.

Greece has accepted tens of thousands of refugees. Refugees came to Greece. Then they travel to Europe. But now the borders have closed and so most of the refugees are going to remain in Greece. There are now 6500 people waiting at the borders, which have been closed for a little more than a week. They were closed because central European countries do not want to accept more refugees.

Bring down the borders!


Colin Foster

The EU is bureaucratic, capitalist, mean-spirited towards refugees, a mess. Surely Brexit would be better?

As if Britain is less capitalist! In any case, none of the Brexiters - not Ukip, not even the fantasists talking about a "left exit" - really believes in a Britain cut off from the naughty world by high barriers and doing its own idyllic thing on its own as if the world ended at Dover. Oh? So what do they want?

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